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Hungary Inflation Drops to 4.4% in February

MTI-Hungary Today 2020.03.10.

Annual inflation in Hungary dropped to 4.4 percent in February from 4.7 percent in the previous month, the Central Statistical Office (KSH) said on Tuesday.

Food prices were up 7 percent, while the prices of spirits and tobacco products, lifted by tax changes, rose by 7.3 percent. Service prices increased by 3.8 percent.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile fuel and food prices, was 4.1 percent.

Month on month, prices rose by 0.3 percent in February.

In a monthly analysis released after the publication of the KSH data, the National Bank of Hungary (NBH) attributed the slowdown in inflation mainly to a moderation of the rise in vehicle fuel prices.

Gov’t Not Worried by Inflation Jump, National Bank Expects Gradual Lowering

In January, vehicle fuel prices jumped by 13.5 percent.

The NBH’s measure of core inflation excluding indirect tax effects — a bellwether indicator of underlying inflation — was 3.8 percent in February, edging up from 3.7 percent in the previous month.

The central bank’s indicator for demand-sensitive inflation, which excludes processed foods from core inflation, rose to 3.3 percent from 3.2 percent in January.

The indicator for sticky price inflation, which includes items for which retail prices vary, on average, no more than 15 percent a month, was unchanged at 3.4 percent.

The NBH said households’ inflation expectations “continued to be moderate” in February, “at a level consistent with the 3 percent inflation target”.

Featured photo illustration by Tamás Sóki/MTI